OMAHA, Neb. -- If anyone on Mississippi State's coaching staff can relate to what the players are experiencing right now it is coordinator of baseball operations Trevor Fitts.The last time the Bulldogs were at the College World Series in 2013, Fitts was a sophomore pitcher and started twice at TD Ameritrade Park during MSU's national runner-up finish.
"It's been really interesting to come back," Fitts said. "You think about all the good times you had with your teammates here and you get to watch these guys have these new moments.
"As a player, you don't appreciate the moments as much because you're so focused on the game and doing your best to win. But coming back as a staff member, you just appreciate everything just a little bit more and how hard it is to get back here."
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Although Fitts enjoyed many memorable moments five years ago, it is Luke Alexander's walk-off hit against Washington last Saturday that is his favorite.There are several similarities between the 2013 team and the current one but also a few noticeable discrepancies as well.
"You can see the similarities in just how much everyone believes in each other," Fitts said. "Our starting pitching was solid with Kendall (Graveman) and me and our bullpen was unbelievable with Ross (Mitchell), Chad (Girodo) and (Jonathan) Holder. This team has a really good core of starting pitchers and a really old bullpen and that helps.
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"But the differences are this team doesn't have a first rounder (Hunter Renfroe). The crazy thing is we have four freshmen in our lineup right now and all of them are producing."
Fitts actually played a part in helping the Bulldogs land Hunter Stovall. Although never teammates, Fitts told coaches of the success Stovall was having at his alma mater Pelham High School in Alabama.
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Fitts went on to finish his baseball career in 2015 posting a 10-8 career record with six saves, a 2.62 earned run average, 126 strikeouts and 40 walks over 144 innings. In total, the righty appeared in 62 games and made 22 starts and sported a 2.38 ERA in SEC play.After graduating from Mississippi State, Fitts went on to earn his master's degree from South Alabama where he was a graduate manager for the baseball team. From there, Fitts served as a pitching coach at Daphne High School last year before being hired in his current role last July.
"I could be an ops guy for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy with it," Fitts said. "Or I could get into coaching and be happy with that too. I like this age group and like everything that comes with it."
This article is written by Logan Lowery from Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.